In a significant stride toward empowering women entrepreneurs, the Abuja Enterprise Agency ,AEA, proudly announced that it has provided business development and support services to 4,224 women entrepreneurs over the past five years.
Mr. Chudi Ugwuada-Ezirigwe, the acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Agency, shared this achievement during an end-of-year media briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
Highlighting the agency’s commitment to uplifting women and youth, Ugwuada-Ezirigwe stated that 70% of the agency’s services, activities, and programs were directed towards these demographics. This focus aligns with the agency’s overarching mandate to create wealth and alleviate poverty in the community.
Recognizing Small and SMEs, as crucial drivers of economic growth, the agency reported creating 13,678 jobs and funding 4,761 businesses in the reviewed period. Additionally, it facilitated the establishment of 3,868 enterprises, sensitized and promoted 9,557 entrepreneurs, nurtured 7,327 enterprises, and enhanced the capacities of 1,962 entrepreneurs in the Federal Capital Territory ,FCT.
Ugwuada-Ezirigwe emphasized that the AEA provided 1,460 entrepreneurs with essential business development and support services, encompassing mentorship, coaching, and regulatory support. The agency also conducted numerous rural outreach programs, delivering business support services to 3,691 entrepreneurs and their businesses across the six Area Councils of the FCT.
Proudly positioning itself as an agency with a rural focus, Ugwuada-Ezirigwe reiterated that 70% of their services are dedicated to rural areas across the six Area Councils of the FCT. Furthermore, the AEA played a pivotal role in fostering dialogue and interactive sessions between SMEs and regulatory organizations through its one-stop shop.
Sixteen regulatory agencies, including the Standard Organisation of Nigeria, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Corporate Affairs Commission ,CAC,, and Federal Internal Revenue Services, were stationed at the agency, streamlining processes for entrepreneurs.
Looking ahead, the acting MD outlined the agency’s commitment to strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem, fostering synergy and coordination, and enhancing access to investment and sectoral intervention. The AEA’s holistic approach underscores its dedication to driving economic development and supporting the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit in the region.